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Velasquez ready for December title fight
Exactly one blemish exists in Cain Velasquez's professional fight record.
A win on Dec. 29 won't fully erase it, but it will undo the damage.
The Kofa graduate has a chance to regain his UFC heavyweight championship title from Junior Dos Santos at the end of the year at UFC 155 in Las Vegas.
Velasquez lost to Dos Santos on Nov. 12, 2011, his first bout in 13 months due to an injury. It was also his first title defense, having beaten Brock Lesnar for the crown in 2010.
Dos Santos knocked Velasquez out in 64 seconds to take the title. Both followed that fight with wins at UFC 146 in May — Dos Santos against Frank Mir for belt retention, and Velasquez against Antonio Silva.
Originally, Alistair Overeem was slated to battle Dos Santos for the heavyweight title. But he failed a drug test, setting up the Velasquez-Dos Santos rematch on Dec. 29.
“I feel good,” Velasquez said. “I'm excited to finally get back to fight for the belt.”
Velasquez said he learned plenty in the last fight against Dos Santos — most notably, don't be timid and take the fight to the champ.
“We've trained for him before, and the only thing I really didn't do last time was go forward and attack him,” Velasquez said. “I waited to long instead of going in there and sticking to the game plan. I waited around too long and that's something that was a mistake on my part, and the only thing you can do is learn from it, take it to the next fight and whole career. And that's what I've done.”
Dos Santos has never lost a UFC fight and is 15-1 in his career. Velasquez is 10-1 in his career, which includes nine UFC battles.
And even though this is the second time in 13 months Dos Santos and Velasquez will battle each other for the heavyweight belt, Velasquez feels there are other contenders for the belt — most notably Overeem, who hasn't faced either title contender in his career and hasn't lost since 2007, though he has only competed in one UFC fight.
Velasquez also mentioned Shane Carwin, who lost a decision to Dos Santos in June 2011. But one problem with both of them is age — Overeem is 32; Carwin is 37.
“They're always in the mix,” Velasquez said. “They're always going to keep fighting and getting better. Plus, UFC is always going to bring in new guys. So it's always going to be really competitive.”
Velasquez said he normally makes a trip home every year around Thanksgiving — a trip that this year he does not think he will make.
“Every time I go back, seeing faces, people I went to school with, seeing my family, it's always a good feeling,” Velasquez said. “Having the support from everyone there is great.”